Have you ever caught yourself musing on the luxurious experience of business class while being stuck in the back of the aeroplane in economy class? Fantasized about what it would feel like to have pre-flight drinks, flat-bed seats, more legroom, privacy, meals served on real china, and the additional perk of having a dedicated lounge at the airport where you’re spoiled rotten with free drinks and food? Then you are not the only one, my friend. All of us fellow economy flyers have some time or the other conjured up a scenario in our heads where we get bumped to business class while boarding without dropping even a single dime.
You are in luck because we have some brilliant tips here to make all your business class dreams come true. Ultimately, it depends on whether luck is in your favor or not, but if your stars are aligned, then these tips will one hundred per cent help you get a free upgrade.
1. Become a loyal customer to the airline
The chances of you getting an upgrade to multiply several times if you are a loyal customer to the airline and have also joined the loyalty program. This means that if you have enough loyalty points, you can cash them out for an upgrade to the business class. This also means that if the flight is overbooked and the airline is looking to upgrade some of its passengers to business class, they are more likely to prioritize their loyal flyers. So, you are more likely to get an upgrade if you are a regular flyer of the same airline.
2. Travel on busy flights
The busier the flights are, the higher are the chances for getting an upgrade. For some reason, passengers believe that a less busy flight would increase their chances of getting an upgrade. However, we can assure you that it’s just a myth. Any airline would seldom give out free upgrades just because they are available.
You are more likely to get an upgrade if you’re travelling on a busy flight in which the coach cabin is either already full or overbooked. When the economy class is too crowded or overbooked, but there is still room in business cabins, then the chances of being upgraded are much more than when there are empty seats in both cabins. Travelling to popular tourist destinations during peak times increase the chances of scoring and submit to the business class.
3. Dress to impress
If you are looking to get upgraded without paying for it, you have to look like you deserve that upgrade. It does not mean that you will get an upgrade if you are dressed well, but it increases your chances a bit if you look like you belong in the premium cabin. Your chances of being upgraded to the business class tremendously drop if you’re wearing scruffy clothing. This also does not mean that you have to wear something like a suit, but something that will make you fit just right in the front of the plane.
4. Speak up about any inconveniences caused
If you are a regular flyer of the same airline, you have likely suffered from any inconvenience like hours-long delay, lost luggage, double booking your seat, etc. You can use these incidents as a leverage to increase your chances of getting an upgrade. If somehow the airline has caused inconvenience to you politely let them know about your experience. The key is to be polite. Usually, airlines take customer service seriously and would want to make it up to you in some way and that might be upgrading you to the business class for free.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to sound rude or complaining because even if the airline is at fault, they don’t necessarily have to upgrade you. Share your experience on how the airline caused an inconvenience to you in the nicest way possible. Also, never lie your way into the business class or cook up any stories of inconvenience, just to get an upgrade.
5. Celebration or special occasion
Sometimes, airlines bump people up when there celebrating special occasions like honeymoon or anniversary. You can also let them know if you are celebrating any special occasion that might make them feel like giving you special treatment. This necessarily does not mean that you are guaranteed to get an upgrade, but this will increase your chance of securing one.
If you’re a holder of an impressive or fancy title, this is your time to show off or brag about it but in a subtle way. For example, being a doctor or a judge will increase your chances of getting an upgrade. Having an impressive or fancy title to your name will make you more likely to get upgraded to premium class.
While going ahead with this route, let your title be known beforehand only. You can do this by using your title while making your booking or have your travel agent make a note of it.
7. Travel light
Smaller parties find it easier to get bumped up to business class then larger families or people with heavy luggage. For example, one or two people are more likely to get upgraded to premium cabins then people travelling in a large family with special carry on requests.
8. Politely ask
Sometimes, you have to try your luck and ask politely if there are any free upgrade available. The important thing to remember is that you have to be polite but not come across as too desperate. You have higher chances of getting an upgrade if you ask the check-in agent rather than the crew ask the check-in agents have more control over the seating chart off the plane then the crew.